Williamstown students honored for posters

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By Bryan Marshall

Four Williamstown students were recently recognized for their artwork in the annual Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s 2008 Adopt-a-Highway poster contest.

Williamstown Senior High sophomore Taylor Stith placed second in the 14 to 17 age category.

“I was really, really excited,” she said. “I worked really hard on it for about two and a half weeks. It felt really special to be second. It was a lot bigger deal than I expected.”

Donna Williams, a junior who finished third in the same category, said she was shocked because she did not think she spent enough time on her poster.

“It gave me a chance to compete against other people outside of our school,” she said. “It gave me a sense of how good I can do.”

Two Williamstown Elementary students, Jeffrey Kinman and Brennan Stanley, were named third place and honorable mention, respectively, in the ages 6 to 9 category.

“I was surprised,” Kinman said. “I felt happy and I was anxious to get home and tell my parents.”

The accomplishment caused Brennan to be overcome with emotion as well.

“I almost had tears running out of my eyes because I was so happy,” he said.

The Transportation Cabinet received 2,322 Adopt-a-Highway poster contest entries from elementary, middle and high school students.

Calendars featuring the winners’ posters will be provided to all the winners and their classrooms.

This year’s contest judges included Transportation Secretary Joe Prather, Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Helen Mountjoy, Georgetown College professor Rachel Brewer, Kentucky State University professor Reba Rye, Transportation Public Affairs Executive Director Chuck Wolfe and Miranda Thacker, statewide coordinator.

The cabinet will begin accepting entries for next year’s contest Jan. 1, 2009. The entries will close on Sept. 30, 2009.

“The purpose of the contest is to increase environmental awareness among children,” Prather said. “We hope to educate kids about the devastating effects of litter, and to change attitudes and behaviors about littering.”

The first-place winner in each of three categories received a $100 savings bond along with a framed print of the poster.

The second- and third-place winners each received a $50 savings bond and framed prints of their posters.

Each honorable mention recipient received a certificate and a framed print.

Awards were presented during a luncheon ceremony Friday, Dec. 12 at the Governor’s Mansion in Frankfort.

“It was really fun,” Williams said about the trip to the Governor’s Mansion. “I’d never seen anything like that. The house was really beautiful and the food was great.”

“It was so great because I had never had the opportunity to go to (the governor’s) mansion,” Stanley said. “I’d been to the capitol building. It was such a great experience.”